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Breastfeeding Online Services

Breastfeeding Online Services reaches out to breastfeeding mothers. strives to provide the latest up-to-date information based on the World's leading research in lactation and child development... and that means everything to do with loving your baby. Please contact Erika with your questions.

Dear Love Faith,

After reading your article about breastfeeding and alcohol I believe I have been misled regarding alcohol and breast feeding. My paediatrician told me that 3 drinks is safe and when drinking anything above that to wait 8 hours. I wad also told that for every 2 drinks wait 5 hours and express your milk before feeding.

I have been combining those 2 methods: if I drink any more than 3 drinks, I wait 8 hours and usually express when I finish drinking and after the 8 hours figuring this was safe. Have I been wrong??? I have noticed I don't feel the let down as frequently as I did before and my baby is pulling away from my breast when feeding. My baby also seems less content. My baby is 2 months old it has just been in the last 2 weeks I have indulged in wine once to twice a week. Is this lack of milk related?

- Tanya, Canada

Contact - Love Faith answers:

Dear Tanya,

Thank you for contacting me with your questions about breastfeeding and alcohol. As a breastfeeding mother, you have chosen the healthiest way to feed and nurture your new baby! Your letter relays deep concern for your baby and I hope the information I provide will answer your questions.

Studies have proved that maternal blood alcohol levels do effect breastfeeding babies. The effects are directly linked to the amount of alcohol the mother drinks. Significant side effects in the baby such as drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness and poor growth are seen when the mother's blood alcohol levels reach 300 mg/dl. The milk let-down reflex is harmed when a mother drinks 1.5 to 1.9 grams per kilogram of body weight. Studies have also shown that mothers who consume 2 and more alcoholic drinks daily leads to developmental delays in their babies. Three glasses of wine could certainly interfere with your milk let down. High levels of alcohol changes the odor of your milk and could cause fussiness or refusal in your baby.

The current recommendation for breastfeeding mothers is to limit their alcohol intake as much as possible. Avoid breastfeeding while drinking and refrain from feeding your baby at your breast for 2 to 3 hours per serving of alcohol. Pumping your milk will not get rid of the alcohol any quicker and is not advised though you may want to pump your milk before drinking alcohol to give to your baby during the waiting period that you should not breastfeed. Some babies are more sensitive to certain foods including alcohol. You may want to do an experiment and see if your milk let down and your baby's response improves when you avoid alcohol altogether. After a week or two try a glass of wine and observe what happens when you breastfeed.

Dear Erika,

Why does my right breast produce more milk then my left breast? Is this normal?

- Chai, Malaysia

Love Faith answers:

Dear Chai,

That sounds very normal! Most women experience differences in size between breasts and milk supply. In some women it is considerably noticeable while in others only slightly noticeable. Having asymmetric body parts is normal and common. There are several possible reasons for one breast to produce more milk than the other:


Most women have one breast that has more milk-producing ducts than the other. Some breastfeeding mothers find that they have one nipple that is less easy for thir baby to latch onto which could lead to less milk production on that side.

Baby has a favorite side

Many babies prefer one breast over the other. Your baby may prefer being held on one particular side. If one breast has a flat or inverted nipple it could lead to preference to the other breast.

Mother has a favorite side

A mother may unknowingly offer one side more often than the other causing higher milk production on that side.

Breast infection, surgery or injury

Milk supply and flow can be affected by past breast infections, surgeries or injuries.


While the difference in size may not be problematic many breastfeeding mothers choose to even their breasts out using certain breastfeeding techniques. It’s fine to ignore the difference in sides if it doesn’t bother you.

Here are some suggestions to increase milk supply on the lower-producing side if it bothers you:

You can pump the smaller side for 10-20 minutes in between nursing sessions or pump the smaller side for 5-10 minutes after feeding from that side.

You can feed your baby on the smaller side more often and always start on the smaller side.

Usually there is a noticeable “evening-out” within 3 to 5 days.

As long as you let your baby nurse as frequently and as long as he or she wants to your baby will get enough milk. In some cultures women choose to feed their babies from only one side! These mothers have very lopsided breasts however they do produce enough milk !

Dear Love Faith,

I am pregnant with my 3rd child. There will be a 10 year gap between this baby and my last. I successfully nursed both of my children until after their 2nd birthdays. I've been hearing about new and different methods of nursing then I used and I'd like to hear your advice. {I began nursing the baby on 1st breast for about 5 minutes and then I'd switch to the other breast for as long as the baby wanted. The next time I'd breastfed the baby I'd start with the breast I used second.}

- Donna, USA

Love Faith answers:

Dear Donna,

Thanks for writing. Congratulations on expecting your third child. It sounds like you have already experienced success and joy at breastfeeding 2 children until after their second birthdays. You must have learned a lot in that time which will surely help you at succeeding with your next baby.

Letting your baby finish the first breast is preferable to switching after 5 minutes because the composition of your milk changes during each feed. The milk that the baby gets in the beginning of the feed is the high volume, low-fat, fore-milk. The calorie content of your breast milk increases throughout the duration of the feed.

By letting your baby decide when to finish each breast you are making sure that your baby is getting the right balance of fat and fluid. Babies get more of the high-fat, creamy, hind-milk when they nurse at one breast until they come off the breast by their own choice.

Research has shown that whether babies feed from 1 or 2 breasts at a feeding they take in comparable volumes of milk over a 24-hour period while not inevitably the same quantity of calories.

Swapping breasts too soon might imply that the baby is only receiving foremilk from each breast which would fill the baby with low calorie foremilk and not much of the richer hind-milk.

Babies are inclined to know how much milk they need – if the baby needs more calories they are likely to stay on each breast for a longer period of time. If the baby is thirsty, on a hot day for instance, he may nurse frequently for shorter bursts of time. It’s in your best interest to let your baby lead the way, and you can be sure that he will get what he needs from each breast.

Dear Love Faith,

When in your pregnancy does lactation occur?

-Michelle, USA

Love Faith writes:

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for contacting

When pregnancy first begins, the breasts begin to develop to a functioning state.

At 0-3 months, hormone levels cause the duct system to multiply. Some changes in appearance may occur.

In months 4-6 the duct system continues to develop and some women have an increase in breast-weight of up to 1 to 1.5 pounds. If the baby were to be born prematurely, the mother would be able to lactate at this stage.

General breast development continues throughout the third trimester.

Breasts begin producing colostrum (the first milk before mature milk comes in) in the fourth month of pregnancy. Some women find that their breasts leak colostrum during the later months of pregnancy.

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